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A Christmas Card Scrooge or Santa The Best and the Worst Credit and Debit Card Deals









A Christmas Card: Scrooge or Santa? The Best and the Worst Credit and Debit Card Deals It's official: the Christmas shopping season 2010 is about to start. Halloween and Bonfire Night are well and truly over. Jack O'Lantern carved pumpkins have gone mouldy and been consigned to the compost heap. All those sparklers, rockets, Catharine Wheels and Roman Candles have long since crashed, burned and fizzled out.

Over in the USA the Christmas shopping season kicks off on Black Friday, the fourth Friday in November, straight after Thanksgiving. The term 'Black Friday' may sound a bit ominous, with echoes of the Stock Market crash, but actually nothing could be further from the truth. It is in fact good news for business, and refers to a consumer bonanza designed to push retailers back into the black, after a lean time of spending restraint and being in the red. On Black Friday US retailers traditionally remain open for a full 24 hours and try to lure shoppers in with special deals and offers. It is one of the busiest shopping days in the American calendar; in 2007 135 million people were said (by Reuters) to have participated in the Black Friday shopping rush.

Here in my home town of Leeds in Yorkshire, the Christkindelmarkt (traditional German Christmas market) is setting out its gingerbread-inspired stalls, and the City Council is getting ready for the big switch on of the Christmas lights. Anything to get cash-strapped consumers to get into festive mood, put their hands in their pockets, and spend, spend, spend. In the post credit-crunch economic climate it may be more difficult than usual to get people to part with their hard-earned cash. In the UK the coalition government has been unleashing its plans for hard-hitting cuts to benefits and services, house-prices are stalled, and London is still clearing up the mess after thousands of angry British students hit the streets in a violent protest against higher university tuition fees.

When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping, or so they say. What plastic cards will the tough have in their wallets this Christmas? What are the card issuers doing to persuade reluctant shoppers back to the High Street? Who is Scrooge and who is Santa? Which ones are doing the most to win those crucial holiday-season sales? Here are my nominations.

Santa

* Amex's offering is the Daily Wish website. This website will be up and running from November 26 to December 16, offering lots of discounts and deals to Amex card holders. American Express's way of making Christmas spending last way beyond Black Friday.

* Citi: the 'Thank You Rewards Holiday Season Gift Card Sale' for all Citi card holders will be available from November 15 through to December 13.

* Tesco Clubcard MasterCard currently offers 13 months at 0% on new purchases: a good way to pay for all your Christmas shopping. Similar 0% deals are offered by Sainsbury's Credit Card and Barclaycard Platinum with Purchase, both of which are offering 0% on purchases for the first 12 months.

Scrooge

* 'Loaded for Christmas'- a prepayment Visa card offered by New Zealand Post and issued by Kiwibank. Designed to restrict consumers to spending only what they can actually afford. As with all prepay cards, you can only spend what you pre-load onto the card. Not activated until just before Christmas to prevent Christmas savings being frittered away! But to be fair there are special offers and a monthly prize draw - so a touch of Santa too.

* Vanquis. Typical 39.9% APR variable based on a typical credit limit of £250. Designed for people previously refused a credit card. Enough said.


About Author Charlotte Mooney :

Charlotte Mooney is an IT professional with many years experience, working for International IT Software Consultancy Proswift, a leading provider of credit system solutions to banks and finance houses across the world. Click here for lots more topical stories from the world of credit card processing, <a href="http://www.proswift.com/newsanddownloads/index.html" target="_blank">http://www.proswift.com/newsanddownloads/index.html</a> , and check out what ProSwift could do for you and your business - <a href="http://www.proswift.com/" target="_blank">http://www.proswift.com/</a>


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Article Added on Sunday, November 14, 2010
LD
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